Living In Turkey: Inspiring Expats – Ölüdenizli Yarenler

Isn’t it always the case? We had the weekend planned and it was supposed to be a ‘people weekend’ on the blog. We kicked off well and good on Saturday with the arrival of the brilliant Tom Kelly who had ridden his pushbike all the way to Fethiye from Wigan in Northwest England. Then yesterday was supposed to be a celebration of some other local people who we want to give a big mention to. The photos were lined up, I was about to start the post – and we weren’t one bit surprised to see our little internet globe disappear from the bottom right corner of the laptop screen. No post yesterday, then…

Ölüdenizli Yarenler

…But, without further ado, let us forget the fact that it is no longer the weekend and continue with our people weekend because we really want to give a special mention to the Ölüdenizli Yarenler (Friends from Ölüdeniz).

Ölüdenizli Yarenler (Friends from Ölüdeniz)

Ölüdenizli Yarenler

If you’re familiar with the Fethiye region, you may well have heard of, or even seen these guys in action. We’ve known of them for a long time but, until Friday when we went to cheer in Tom Kelly, we had never seen them perform. And that’s why we’re dedicating this post to them today; we expected to be in awe of, and full of admiration for, Tom Kelly but we certainly didn’t expect to be so taken by this group of people that were entertaining us as we awaited his arrival.

The Ölüdenizli Yarenler In Fethiye

Singing Turkish Folk Songs

They’re expats and they’re retirees – but there’s certainly no desire in any of these four to put their feet up and chill out. The Ölüdenizli Yarenler are not so much living the dream as living the adventure. They got themselves a teacher, learned some traditional Turkish folk songs, a few folk dances and they were off performing!

Crowd Watching Ölüdenizli Yarenler

The crowd was clapping and singing along

So, hats off to them for that. Their tours have taken them to places such as Kars in Northeast Turkey and Cappadocia in Central Anatolia; this hobby has given them the perfect opportunity to travel around and learn more about the country they’ve chosen to make their home.

But it’s also the courage of these expat retirees that we admired on Friday. It must take guts to perform Turkish dances and folk songs to a Turkish audience. We were glancing around the onlookers on Friday, wondering what the reaction would be to four Brits in traditional Turkish costume. But the Ölüdenizli Yarenler are infectious. The spokesman for the group, reading out the introductions to each song or dance in slow, deliberate Turkish (a definite crowd pleaser) and then in his native English, was getting applause for that before they’d even started performing.

Traditional Turkish Folk Dancing

The Black Sea dance. A bit of nifty footwork and a lot of energy required

Then they announced a Black Sea dance. “I’m sorry,” the spokesman said, “we’re retirees and we haven’t got a lot of energy. This dance is from the Black Sea and it’s really fast, but we love to perform it.” Whatever lack of physical energy there was, it certainly didn’t show. Extra loud applause at the end of that dance!

So, a feature post on these guys today because of their fantastic energy and enthusiasm for their life in Turkey. If you get the chance to see the Ölüdenizli Yarenler perform anywhere (they pop up at many local Fethiye events) go and give them a watch. They’re an inspiring bunch and great fun.

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  1. what fun! they sure have good energy!

  2. @ Jaz: They were great fun and their energy far outshines whatever energy we have! They put us to shame! 🙂

  3. I loved seeing Yarenler!! They are soo cool and their passion always inspires me, thank you!

    I just did a blogpost, and showered you with some lovely awards!! Any excuse for recognition, many thanks for all the wonderful posts Here is the link, if you’d like to check out:

  4. What an incredible foursome! Good for them and also good for the Turkish audience!!!

  5. @ Özlem: The Yarenler are a really cool bunch and we really enjoyed their performance. Their passion is definitely inspiring.

    @ A Seasonal Cook in Turkey: They are incredible aren’t they? And yes, great that the Turkish audience took to them as well. 🙂

  6. Yes I´d say that would take guts alright – fait play!

  7. @ Robin: Yeah, we’d say so too. You never know what the reaction of the locals is going to be when you attempt to take part in their traditions. Good on these lot for going for it! 🙂

  8. Looks like they are having loads of fun… when people are having a good time.Especially with lots of energy.
    Glad the people enjoyed the performance and clapped loud…..

  9. @Erica (Irene): Yeah, these guys were definiteşy having loads of fun. Great to see and lovely that they got such a warm reception.

  10. Marie-Claude says

    I had chance to see them ; they are great ; it is a good example of integration.

  11. @ Marie-Claude: They are great aren’t they. Certainly a good example of people of different nationalities who have made an effort to share. 🙂

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